GUWAHATI, March 18 � The stage is all set for the formal inauguration of the much anticipated research and documentation centre on indigenous practices of the Northeast.
Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi, in the presence of C. Matthew Snipp, who is the Chair of Native American Studies at Stanford University, USA, will inaugurate the Institute of Research and Documentation of Indigenous Studies (IRDIS) tomorrow at 10 am at Kalakshetra.
The idea for a research and documentation institute for indigenous studies for the different ethnic communities of Assam was first conceived in 2009 when Tarun Gogoi had expressed the desire to set up a centre for such research.
The institute will work in close association with external institutes and universities like Stanford University
IRDIS is a centre of multi and interdisciplinary research and documentation on the diverse ethnic communities of Assam in fields relevant to them. It is also collaborative and comparative in nature since indigenous studies are multidisciplinary.
�Research and documentation initiatives at IRDIS would be taken up in a wide range of areas such as indigenous culture, socio-economic studies, health, education, indigenous and traditional knowledge, and population numbers,� informed Deepa Dutt, head of the centre.
It needs to be mentioned here that the members of IRDIS will work in partnership with the communities in the rural and urban areas to design and implement research and documentation projects for the empowerment of the communities and also for the preservation of their traditional and indigenous knowledge. The knowledge resource that will be evolved from such research work will be stored in a database with the express purpose of developing a modern data archive on indigenous studies based on the latest technology.
IRDIS will encourage regional, national and international research workers and scholars from within and outside the ethnic communities with a view to sharing research material and to participate in discussions and symposia on topics relevant to the indigenous communities, while also encouraging scholarly exchange programmes.
�At this point IRDIS is in the process of developing research and documentation project proposals on areas of preservation of indigenous languages, documentation of indigenous art forms such as indigenous music, oral folklore, craft and architecture, indigenous medicinal knowledge and also a project in collaboration with Microsoft, New Delhi, to bring about computer awareness amongst the ethnic communities in the remote areas of Assam,� said Dutt.